A pair of WCHA players who have excelled both on and off the ice – Austin Sevalrud of Alaska-Anchorage and Shelby Amsley-Benzie of North Dakota – are the men’s and women’s WCHA postgraduate scholarship recipients for 2016.
Now in its 13th year, the WCHA Postgraduate Scholarship Program awards grants of $7,500 each for postgraduate studies.
“On behalf of the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association family, we are thrilled to recognize Mr. Austin Sevalrud and Ms. Shelby Amsley-Benzie as this season’s Postgraduate Scholarship recipients,” said WCHA president, men’s commissioner and interim women’s commissioner Bill Robertson in a statement. “Austin and Shelby are both exemplary student-athletes who embody the true mission of the WCHA and its member institutions.
“During their time on campus, Austin and Shelby competed at the highest level of college hockey, maintained a standard of academic excellence and made invaluable contributions within their communities. Both have proven to be selfless individuals who aspire to further their education with the goal of making lasting contributions for the betterment of society [and] we are truly thrilled to be able to assist in these inspiring ambitions. We applaud their commitment, effort and dedication. We thank them for being tremendous ambassadors for the WCHA and we wish them all the best in their future academic and personal endeavors.”
Sevalrud was a four-year regular on the Anchorage blue line, playing in 129 career games. An exemplary leader in all areas, from the classroom to the locker room, he wore the captain’s ‘C’ during his senior year. Academically, Sevalrud was a three-time recipient of the WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award and a three-time WCHA All-Academic Team member while maintaining a cumulative 3.75 GPA and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance.
He set and met a goal to increase the number of volunteer hours by the team, initiating outreach programs centering on Special Olympics programs, while advocating for the Seawolves’ fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s that helped raise funds for childhood cancer research.
One of the nation’s top goaltenders, Amsley-Benzie was a 4.0 student while pursuing a combined degree program along with tireless devotion to giving back in the community.
A two-time, top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, a 2015 All-American and WCHA Goaltending Champion and a First Team All-WCHA performer as a junior season, Amsley-Benzie posted a 67-33-10 career record in 111 collegiate games, along with a .929 save percentage, a 1.69 GAA and 22 shutouts. She is UND’s all-time leader in every major goaltending category, while in WCHA history, she ranks sixth for shutouts, eighth for games played, tied for eighth for wins, 12th for GAA, tied for 14th for save percentage and 16th for saves (2,474).
A two-time Academic All-American, Amsley-Benzie is also a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and was a member of the WCHA All-Academic Team four years running. She has spent nine semesters on the UND Dean’s List and President’s Honor Roll and has been part of the Athletic Department Honor Roll for Student-Athletes during each of her five years. She has also consistently given back to the community by volunteering across a variety of settings, both on campus and in the greater Grand Forks area.